Published by Orion Publishing Group on October 23rd 2014
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Traditional, Traditional British
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Sherlock Holmes is dead. Days after Holmes and his arch-enemy Moriarty fall to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls, Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. The death of Moriarty has created a poisonous vacuum which has been swiftly filled by a fiendish new criminal mastermind who has risen to take his place. Ably assisted by Inspector Athelney Jones of Scotland Yard, a devoted student of Holmes's methods of investigation and deduction, Frederick Chase must forge a path through the darkest corners of the capital to shine light on this shadowy figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, a man determined to engulf London in a tide of murder and menace. Author of the global bestseller THE HOUSE OF SILK, Anthony Horowitz once more breathes life into the world created by Arthur Conan Doyle. With pitch-perfect characterisation and breath-taking pace, Horowitz weaves a relentlessly thrilling tale which teases and delights by the turn of each page. The game is afoot...
Before I started this novel my overwhelming need to read everything that came before it (naturally) took over. So I read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories up through ‘The Adventure of the Final Problem’ which appears (as the last story) in the collection The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. It’s a short story and I would heavily encourage readers to read (at least) just that one before reading Moriarty in order to more fully experience the twists and turns of Horowitz’s novel, though it’s not strictly needed.
Anyway, Moriarty. The best way to describe this book is fun. I had a great time reading it. The characters are more fleshed out than in a standard Sherlock Holmes story and it was a great opportunity that Horowitz presents us with to get to better know Inspector Jones and other darker elements that show up in Doyle’s great masterpieces (because, let’s face it – as fabulous as the Sherlock Holmes stories are, they don’t give much in the way of character development).
Though at it’s heart is is still a mystery novel there are twists and turns that keep the reader guessing right up until the end and since it’s a Sherlock novel of sorts, you know that there will be no supernatural elements, nor does the narrator seem to be overly unreliable. In other words, this novel does not fit the formulaic novel in the mystery genre that many people seem to dislike.
This novel also gave me the opportunity to shed the preconceived visualizations of characters from the BBC Sherlock series because Watson and Sherlock make no appearance in this novel, other than Jones taking it upon himself to become a student of Sherlock’s science of deduction and passing references to Watson and how his accounts of the adventures he has been on with Sherlock are perhaps highly romanticized.
Highly recommended, especially to Sherlock fans of all stripes.
Also, if you’re looking for a rabbit hole (no spoilers), here’s a fascinating Wikipedia article on Moriarty.
Are you as fascinated by the character of Moriarty as I am, Reader? Do you wish Sir Doyle had done more with him?